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20 April, 2023

Cale is shooting hoops with new Indigenous tournament

A local basketballer has been selected for NSW in a national tournament that provides a pathway to the big league for young Aboriginal players.

By Emily Middleton

Local star, Cale McEwen, recently made the NSW Indigenous basketball team that is set to play at the 2023 National Indigenous Basketball Tournament later this week. In its second year running, the tournament was set up by National Basketball Association (NBA) star Patty Mills, and the Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), to support aspiring professional indigenous basketball players.

Not yet 14, Cale was thrilled to have made it to the playing team this year, a step-up from making it last year as a reserve.

“It feels pretty good,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting other people from the other states,” he added.

The NSW team flew up to the Gold Coast yesterday (Tuesday, April 11), and have one training session between now before playing against the other states. Cale has been playing basketball in Gilgandra since he was six-years-old, and currently plays for the representative Gilgandra basketball team. He went to Dubbo for a trial earlier this year, and played against 70 others to make the team.

“We are real proud of him, he has put a lot of hard work in this year, he’s improved out of sight,” said father Quinton McEwen.

“His mother is a basket baller, it’s in the Naden genes,” he laughed.

“He deserved it this year, and the IBA is going to just keep growing and growing, and hopefully it will grow in Gil. There’s a lot of talent out there that just doesn’t get recognised.”

Mr McEwen was extremely appreciative of Luke McKenzie, Julie Nolan, and Deidre Naden, who have all supported Cale with his training, and pushing him to play the best he can.

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